HIV and Mother–Child Conflict: Associations with Mother’s Mental and Physical Health
Maternal illness is a stressor that can disrupt family processes and contribute to negative child outcomes, and researchers have considered family variables that mediate or moderate the maternal illness–child outcome relationship. Through reliance on a diverse sample (ethnically and racially, as well as geographically), the current study expands prior literature with a focus on parent–child conflict. Specifically, associations between aspects of HIV positive mothers’ illness and mother–child conflict were explored. One goal of the study was to determine if there were direct or indirect associations with aspects of mothers’ HIV and mother–child conflict. HIV-positive mothers (N = 136) provided CD4 count and completed measures assessing their perceived level of physical functioning, depressive symptoms, HIV health-related anxiety, and mother–child conflict with their healthy school-age children. Path analysis considered the pattern of relationships across variables. Results showed maternal vitality and depressive symptoms were directly associated with mother–child conflict. CD4 cell count and health-related anxiety operated indirectly through maternal depressive symptoms. Mediation analyses further assessed the influence of maternal CD4 cell count on mother–child conflict behavior; results indicated an indirect effect was mediated by vitality. HIV health-related anxiety and vitality separately showed indirect effects on mother–child conflict, mediated by maternal depressive symptoms. These findings are the first to focus on mother–child conflict among children affected by maternal HIV and highlight the need for screening and intervention to address depressive symptoms among HIV-positive mothers.
KeywordsHIV/AIDS Parent–child conflict Depressive symptoms
Special thanks to Erika Becker, University of California, Los Angeles, and Sae-Jin Kim, Georgia State University, for their assistance on the manuscript.
Research reported in this manuscript was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health by Grant Numbers 5R01MH094148 (PI: Marya T. Schulte) and 5R01MH094233 (PI: Lisa P. Armistead). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
- Bentler, P. M. (2006). EQS 6 structural equations program manual. Encino: Multivariate Software, Inc.Google Scholar
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2017). HIV/AIDS: Risk by racial/ethnic groups. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/group/racialethnic/index.html.
- Cohen, J., & Cohen, P. (1983). Applied multiple regression/correlation analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed.). Hillsdale: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Cohen, J., Cohen, P., West, S. G., & Aiken, L. S. (2003). Applied multiple regression/correlation analysis for the behavioral sciences (3rd ed.). Mahwah: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Figley, C. R., & McCubbin, M. (1983). Stress and the family. New York: Brunner/Mazel.Google Scholar
- Forehand, R., Jones, D. J., Kotchick, B. A., Armistead, L., Morse, E., Morse, P. S., & Stock, M. (2002). Noninfected children of HIV-infected mothers: A 4-year longitudinal study of child psychosocial adjustment and parenting. Behavior Therapy, 33(4), 579–600. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0005-7894(02)80018-1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Kalichman, S. C., Rompa, D., & Cage, M. (2000). Reliability and validity of self-reported CD4 lymphocyte count and viral load test results in people living with HIV/AIDS. International Journal of HIV & AIDS, 11, 579–585.Google Scholar
- Murphy, D. A., Marelich, W. D., Herbeck, D. M., & Cook, M. (2016). Career readiness and externalizing behaviors of children affected by maternal HIV/AIDS: 15-Year outcomes of the PACT study. Vulnerable Child Youth Studies, 11(3), 223–237. https://doi.org/10.1080/17450128.2016.1217113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Murphy, D. A., Moscicki, A. B., Vermund, S. H., & Muenz, L. R. (2000). Psychological distress among HIV+ adolescents in the REACH study: Effects of life stress, social support and coping. Journal of Adolescent Health, 27(6), 391–398. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1054-139X(00)00158-0.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Robin, A. L., & Foster, S. L. (1989). Negotiating parent–adolescent conflict: A behavioral-family systems approach. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Thastum, M., Watson, M., Kienbacher, C., Piha, J., Steck, B., Zachariae, R., … Romer, G. (2009). Prevalence and predictors of emotional and behavioural functioning of children where a parent has cancer: A multinational study. Cancer, 115(17), 4030–4039. https://doi.org/10.1002/cncr.24449.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar